Remember a bit back our article about PlayStation’s lack of a permanent mascot series? Well one the best was Sly Cooper, but unlike Crash and Ratchet he hasn’t gotten a revitalization in several console releases now.
Yeah I’m disappointed too buddy. So in the highly likely event you don’t exactly know what Sly Cooper was. Hey can’t blame ya. Let’s get the basics out of the way. So what exactly was the game about? Well he’s a sneaky little thief. The games are about as close to a Lupin the 3rd game you could ever want. The latest in a family of famous thieves who pal around with a crew of friends in a trademark car. Sneaking into bases, getting in over your head, and some driving missions mixed in. It’s a silly but serious enough story about technically a bad guy. He and his crew are far from law abiding, but you would never call them a villian.
Constantly on the run from a die hard inspector who often will put the chase aside and join up when they wind up on the same side of the action. So what happened to the series? It sounds great right? Well best I can tell it was a stream of cancelations that just dropped the value for funding anymore titles. Tons of money just proofing away like that is never a good sign to potential publishers. Not to mention I have no idea what the rights are like for sliding away from Sony to anywhere else. That’s what brought back Crash and Spyro after all. Though the first game came out in 2002. Yeah twenty years ago now. Infact it was September 2002 and now it’s October 2022 with nothing. Not even a rerelease, or rererelease as it were. The PS3 had a trilogy pack, but this isn’t about the history of the series. Instead it’s about how he could just vanish. No thief joke, to sad. There was books, comics, and even a movie in the works. Then like a Nintendo title he just existed in the background. Easter Eggs and cameos every now and then but no new games. Just hanging on the side of relevancy. Not worth bringing back, but to important to just drop.
He stuck around so well you’d be forgiven for not knowing he didn’t have an active presence on his own. The titles even grew with the times. As heist movies became more popular, they added that to the series. Letting you switch between characters to do specific tasks. Dropping the simple smash and grab style of Sly 1 to make each world feel like an actual gang of thieves pulling a job. Then expanding further to more fantastical plot points. Like the ever popular time travel story.
Well the third game hits hard. I mean in the second game a main character was crippled, the gang split up, and it was unsure how things would play out for our little sneaky racoon. The third title had so much heart and humor it outshined my expectations in everyway. The crew grew closer and the characters were fleshed out so well until well… Sly decided to give it all up to live with the inspector by faking amnesia just to get caught faking in the 4th title as he does what he does best. Sly goes to steal some shit that he needs for plot reasons to travel through time. I kinda don’t remember it to well and can’t easily revisit it for lack of having the dang game. Funnily enough it was stolen from me be an ex. Now lots of fans and critics panned the 4th game. I have no clue why. Aside from some frame rate issues I don’t remember anything being that bad. I guess it required an appreciation for the Sly series to appreciate. If that’s the case, then his popularity was already fading so maybe that is why we still haven’t gotten more games. I found it full of great ideas pulled off fantastically by a new team of developers. It expanded the lore and kept the character growth steady and believable. Just like with most stories that died before it’s time the cliffhanger was, is, hard to swallow. The bad guy is beaten, Sly’s friends go back to their lives without him, and Sly is dead. That is unless you 100% the game.
Sly wakes up next to the crashed blimp, there was a blimp not my fault you didn’t play the game, in ancient Egypt. So what happens next? There are plenty of ways he could make it back. He could leave clues for his friends or the inspector to find. He could hide away where he knows they will be during their time traveling adventures. I dunno some ancient relic or something? I’m sure there has to be someone who knows what should have come next. That or someone willing to try. Hell I’d take a reboot or just a new Sly 4. It worked well enough for Crash Bandicoot and he retconned like 10 games. It could be Sony just felt they wanted to move forward with the less family friendly affairs of God of War, Killzone, Infamous, and then later Last of Us. Maybe it was Uncharted that stole Sly’s thunder. All I know is I’d straight up buy a PS5 for a new Sly game and that’s something Ratchet and Clank didn’t make me do. So for now I guess it’s au revoir to the best example of stealth action platforming I have ever known.
Something a little different this time as I haven’t really had the time to sink into a game or show to review. I hope you enjoyed some random off the top of my head ramblings about a series I haven’t touched in almost a decade. This topic was brought up while chatting with a friend of mine actually. If you’d like to join in on the conversation then how about jumping on our Discord server? Want to help out even more well we have a Patreon you can join to be directly involved with the content and growth of our community. If not, well we love you anyways.